Lately I’ve been developing some breakfast pastry recipes for my summer restaurant job here on MV and one of my favorite things to make are scones. But not those dry as sand scones, no sir! These Orange-Poppy Seed Scones, adapted from a CIA recipe, are moist and have a tender crumb structure with some crispy bits on the edges. They’re loaded with Vitamin C from all the citrus zest and a healthy dose of Dutch Blue Poppy Seeds.

Dutch Blue Poppy Seeds, you ask? Well, Virtual Potluck has joined forces with Savory Spice Shop in developing a few new recipes using their products. We each have an entire shop section and mine was seeds; this was were I fell in love with their Dutch Blue Poppy Seeds. I’m the one that goes for the poppy seed bagel 9/10 times at the coffee shop, so it seemed natural I’d bake with them!

Poppy seeds come from a yellowish brown opium plant native to the Mediterranean. They have been cultivated since the 6th century for the seeds, but also for opium, the narcotic that comes from the unripe seed. These mature seeds do not have narcotic properties. Nowadays these tiny blue gray seeds are mainly produced in Holland and Canada.  Poppy seeds have a nutty tasting flavor and are mainly used in baking. They are popular in breads, cakes, rolls and cookies. Although poppy seeds are difficult to grind, try dry roasting them first, then buzz them in a coffee grinder or spice mill. To make a paste, soak the seeds in water for 2-3 hours and then process in a blender with a touch of the liquid. Refrigerate or freeze poppy seeds to maintain freshness.

-Savory Spice Shop

Each Virtual Potluck member had a different set of spices to play with, so make sure to stop by Cookistry and check out the round-up post of recipes and giveaways! More spices, more chances to win!


Orange-Poppy Seed Scones

[From "Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America"|}
Print Recipe


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup sliced dried apricots
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk
  • to decorate: orange zest poppy seeds
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • orange zest


  • Stir together sugar, flour, baking powder, and vanilla salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk milk and lemon juice until it "curdles". This takes about 2 minutes. Add orange extract, poppy seeds, and apricot slices.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir together. You can do this in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, but using a dough whisk is a faster and easier way to go!
  • On a baking sheet fitted with plastic wrap, place dough and naturally form into a circle. Cut into 8 slices and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. I found it easier to cut after 30 minutes in the freezer.
  • To bake: Preheat oven to 350F and place frozen scones on greased baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with orange zest and poppy seeds. Bake until golden brown.
  • To make glaze, stir together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and orange zest. Glaze scones and serve! You can always serve glaze on the side as well.
Servings: 8 large scones


Thanks to the generous folks over at Savory Spice Shop, we’re giving away a spice gift set for one lucky Cooking with Books reader! It’s a fantastic set of spice blends that you can add to everything from popcorn to grilled steak! Entry Guidelines: leave a comment for each action done, as well as a contact email.
  • Tweet: Love Spices? Enter to win a spice gift set via @nella22 & @SavorySpiceShop
  • Head on over to the Savory Spice Shop Facebook page and post on their wall your favorite spice
  • Follow Savory Spice Shop on Twitter
  • Follow Cooking with books blog via Google Friend Connect (right-hand side bar)
Connect with Savory Spice Shop

Disclaimer: Savory Spice Shop sent Virtual Potluck members spices to test and develop a recipe with, free of charge. My opinions, as always, were based on product testing and tasting!  US mailing addresses only. One (1) winner will be chosen randomly. Prize will be shipped by Savory Spice Shop. The contest ends Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 pm Eastern time. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 23st via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

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